It was a couple of weeks ago that we wrote about a little game called Prominence (the developer was Simutronics and the game was the iOS version of Skyroads , a Google Chrome browser game). Today, we’re going to talk about a different game: SRX, a MMORPG which was released on Steam in September 2013 by a company called Simulation Forge (the developer).
A few weeks ago, Atlus announced that they would be bringing their classic dungeon crawler Persona 4 Golden to the PlayStation Vita. The game had been a big hit in Japan, selling over a million copies, so there was considerable hype surrounding its release in the West. Atlus sent PS Vita owners a mysterious email, encouraging them to pre-order the game. It wasn’t until midnight on the release date that Atlus revealed the pre-order bonuses that would be given out to all those who pre-ordered the game.
Monster Games returns with the next game in the Tony Stewart series. This series began with Tony Stewart Sprint Car Racing, followed by Tony Stewart’s All-American Racingand culminated with SRX:. The Game, or Superstar Racing Experience. The Tony Stewart series is a solid and economical racing game, so with this SRX: The Game Review I was curious to see how the formula changed in the third round.
SRX: Game overview
But before that, there are a few things I’d like to say. What is SRX Racing, for example? That’s a good question, and if you asked several people, you’d get several answers. SRX is a new short season competition created by Ray Evernham, former NASCAR team manager and team owner from 2001-2010. This is a competition with 12 different runners from different running disciplines. They want to put the focus back on the drivers and their skills, not the ability to get sponsors and overpay for the best product on the track. Among those 12 former championship drivers is Evernham’s racing partner, Tony Stewart. Besides Ray and Tony, players should know almost all the runners in the new league, which begins on the 12th. June of this year. The first race will be held at Stafford Motor Speedway on the 17th. The month of July at the Nashville Fairgrounds has come to an end. Drivers include Tony Stewart, Bill Elliott, Bobby Labonte, Tony Kanaan, Michael Waltrip as well as current Indianapolis 500 winner and four-time champion Helio Castroneves and many others. So we’ve seen in detail what the SRX League is and who plays in it, but now let’s move on to the official game of the series, developed by Monster Games. If you’re familiar with the first two games in the series, you’ll know how many improvements this sequel has made over its predecessor. But now the experienced developers at Monster have been given the task of creating an official game for an official sport that doesn’t even exist yet. This is obviously a daunting task, but from my conversations with the developers, they were enthusiastic about it. The question now is whether the improvements will be continued in the SRX :. Thegame, or has the series stalled a bit, even with the addition of a new league?
What I like
As with any racing game, the driving model is crucial, and thankfully SRX manages to reflect the player’s feeling on the track very well. The game features four different racing styles including Sprint Cars, Stadium Trucks, Late Models and of course the official SRX racing competition with the official car. What I really liked about the developers’ work is that each series and each car is driven differently. So the approach must be different. When I left the Sprint Car series to take on the challenge of the next series, the Stadium Truck series, I had an adjustment period. These adjustments continued from set to set, in a way that made me feel like I was playing four games in one. Since this was my first time competing in the Sprint Car series, it took me a while to get used to it, which in this case is a good thing. If you’ve played the previous two games in this series, you might expect the sprint cars to be the same, but that’s not the case. The developers at Monster Games have taken this approach very seriously and in SRX, they’ve tweaked the driving patterns for the better. Thegame, and as an experienced player, it was pretty noticeable. When I first picked up the controller, I noticed an improvement in my driving almost immediately. In the previous two games, maneuvering the analog stick to control the vehicle felt like a one in ten variability scenario. The SRXnow looks more like a sequence starting with 1 and ending with 20. The wider variety of movements with the analogue sticks, which now include more subtle and nuanced approaches, has improved control and response when I’m in the car on the track, and added some much needed depth to the overall driving model. These improvements in control are noticeable throughout the game regardless of the vehicle you’re driving, but as always in this series, the game offers the ability to change the settings and adjust how quickly or slowly your controller and analog sticks respond to your movements and decisions.
As with most racing games with a career mode, I spent most of my time reviewing this game. Due to the lack of publicity for the game SRX, I knew very little about what was in the game this year, but I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the career mode. As mentioned, the SRX offers four different racing styles and disciplines on the track, and it integrates well with the career mode. The game starts with the lowest of the four series, the Sprint Car series. If you have played Tony Stewart’s Sprint Car Racing, then you have a very good idea of what to expect in this series. The career mode of SRX is interesting because it offers a lot of depth and length on the track, and also includes an R&D-like scenario for each series you participate in. So once I got into career mode, I had to not only try to be competitive on the job, but also hire a team of professionals to run my business and develop my facilities. Depending on the difficulty level and length of the career mode, SRX can literally give you months of fun, as each series has multiple tracks and races that you need to complete and finish in order to progress. The research and development aspect only adds depth as you try to build your own resources to improve each vehicle. It also allows you to appoint a replacement driver for a series you may not wish to participate in, but which remains under the umbrella of your company. In the end, the career mode offered much more than I expected from SRX, and it offered enough excitement, fun, and originality that I wanted to play it again even after this review was over.
What is the point of the career mode if the drivers you compete against are always bad and unrealistic? This is a problem you will not have with the SRX :. Thegame, and it’s welcome. There’s a list of attributes that I may or may not question with every racing game I review. Whatever game it is, the AI has to be smart, competitive, realistic and able to understand that I am driving around the track with him and other AI drivers. In both the Career and Race modes, the AI is always good, always smart, and even when it’s fair, the AI drivers accelerate in every lap as if they have a stake in the outcome of the weekend. However, the AI of SRX is not perfect (and I don’t mean that in a negative way). I’ve seen them make a few mistakes in their dealings with each other myself, even though I wasn’t involved or around – and that’s a good thing. This does not mean that the runner’s AI in SRX always hits the target, because it does not. There are a few problems that I keep seeing with 75 races, but I’ll talk about those later in this review. Ultimately, the AI drivers are pretty much everything I hoped for in a game like SRX, and they help improve the experience, extend the duration, and enhance the career mode in a very positive way.
Throughout the review, I said I was surprised at the depth of this game. That depth includes a career mode, Race Now, a range of online racing options and live leaderboards. In addition to everything already in the game, there are save slots for DLC content that will likely be available upon release, though at this point I don’t know if it will be free or paid DLC. It’s not that the content of this game is groundbreaking or genre-defining, as much of what’s on offer here we’ve already seen in other games, it’s the combination of them that’s impressive. The online aspect of the game SRX offers a simple lobby mode, but this can be customized and managed to your liking. You also have the option to manage a public or private hall that can be filled by real drivers or a combination of real and artificial drivers to fill the field. I’ve already talked about the depth of the Career mode and what it entails, and that’s a lot. But now add in the ability to play through a network and participate in four different series in the racing scenario, and all the content starts to add up in a positive way, and you have a much clearer idea of the depth that really goes into this game for $49.99.
What I don’t like
Although I like many things about the SRX : The Game, especially at low prices, not everything is perfect in this world. I’m all about presentation when it comes to officially licensed racing games, and SRX almost doesn’t look it. Whether it’s the current race or career mode, you get a quick and easy screenshot of your driver in the pits before the race, and surprisingly, it’s not as inspiring as you might think (sarcastic warning). The post-race presentation is even worse. Whether you win the big race or finish last, you’ll see the same start screen after every race, no matter what series you’re in. It bothered me because the game does a really good job of recreating the harshness of each place you race. It has something of a small-town feel, as is often the case on these circuits, and it is a pity that this presentation is not reflected in other aspects of the SRX :. Game. I understand that SRX is a low-budget game in the sense that the developers are still focusing on the core gameplay and feel of the track, rather than the peripherals of the racing genre. However, it seems that more could have been done to enhance the experience and mimic the festive atmosphere that most Sprint and Late Model race tracks offer in abundance each weekend.
I’m not going to spend much time discussing what I didn’t like about the runner AI in SRX , because of course I mentioned it earlier in this review as something I liked about their consistent competitiveness and intelligence. However, there is a little quirk that I have noticed more than once that needs to be mentioned. In several races – if not all – the AI drivers understand that you are on the track with them, but they had no problem falling on the track regardless of their position in the race. For example, when I’m trying to move up a lap on the last lap of the race, the cars behind me that have no chance of getting into the top 10 often tend to backtrack and try to block the line I’m trying to take and be too aggressive, preventing me from taking the win without their interference. It’s not a huge problem or something I would describe as racism, but it has happened often enough to worry me, and I guarantee you will notice it too.
SRX: GameThe Game is probably not on the list of racing games many were looking forward to in 2021. I’m not even sure many people knew this title would be developed and revealed this year. Either way, the SRX is an excellent package, especially considering the price it is offered for. There are many fully priced games that do not offer the same level of fun, excitement, or longevity as SRX , and this should be noted and respected. TheSRX offers an authentic and realistic experience, even for die-hard fans of dirt track racing, but this experience can be customized for people of all skill levels and abilities. As soon as you start this game, memories of Dirt to Daytona come flooding back (assuming you ever played that game). Whether you’re a racing fan or not, SRX : The game is an activity you can do alone or with your family.